Over the years, working as a web developer, I have noticed a repeating pattern during my continuing education. For example, in my early days of working with CSS, it occurred to me I should really start keeping a library of patterns I used all the time. Something that would get me up and running as quickly as possible, taking all the tedious work out of buttons, forms, etc. Guess what, here’s a new framework called Bootstrap.
Well, Bootstrap is great, but it’s resulting in bloated CSS and has way too much unnecessary stuff in it. I like to write by adding utility classes to elements. It is so much faster. Oh, you say that there’s a new framework for that? Tailwind; I see.
On the PHP side of things, I am starting to dislike how messy everything looks. All those ‘<?php ?>’ tags. Functions littered throughout the site files. A real chaos of code. Guess what? In my opinion, Laravel (and more specifically Blade) addresses all those issues.
Do you see the pattern here? I learn something, I use it for a long enough time in the real world to identify parts of the process that could be improved, and then I discover that a new tool exists that does just about exactly what I envisioned as an improvement.
It’s an exciting process, because it is at this point I feel like I am actually learning and successfully applying that new knowledge; and that I am on the same path that many others have taken. I know I understand something when I can identify limitations and their correspondent improvements. I place this high on the scale of the pleasures of learning. Not quite as high as those elusive ‘A Ha!’ moments, but certainly in the top five.